The Department of Environment is proposing to plant mangroves in a bid to stop erosion of Kaibo Public Beach, attendees of last week’s North Side District Council meeting heard.
MLA Ezzard Miller told the 22 people at the April 7 meeting of the Department of Environment’s proposal. He indicated his own view and pointed out that mangroves would inhibit access to the water.
The meeting had been a full one, with discussion of police issues and a preview of upcoming legislation. By 10 p.m., people were still interested, but they were getting tired.
A woman in the audience suggested that the new discussion on the beach erosion continue by way of a “round robin email.” District council president Maxine Bodden Robinson agreed to send information around and Mr. Miller pledged to abide by the results.
Before the start of the workday on Monday, April 11, the email had been sent out. It concluded, “Please let us know the option you support by Friday, April 15. We will then take the majority view forward with Mr. Miller.”
A plan of where the Department of Environment proposes to plant mangroves was attached. It was created by the Department of Environment and illustrated using an aerial image from the Department of Lands and Survey.
Mrs. Robinson set out two options, the first involving planting mangroves in the affected areas and the second, reclaiming the area and using it as a dock.
Outlining the Department of Environment proposal, Mrs. Robinson wrote: “We received a proposal from the DoE to plant mangroves in the affected area.
“April is Earth Month and the DoE is in the process of planning projects to benefit the environment and get the public involved in an environmental initiative.
“With the theme for this particular year being ‘Trees for the Earth’ and the general importance of mangroves locally, the DoE decided to try and initiate a mangrove planting project and they have selected Kaibo Public Beach as the best potential site.
“It would be suitable as it is Crown owned; has shallow water offshore with some mangroves already starting to propagate recently nearby; has sediments with suitable organic matter contents for mangroves to grow; and is reasonably sheltered from significant wave action.”
Mrs. Robinson, in her email, told residents, “We have been told that it would be beneficial to the area to plant mangroves as they would hopefully provide a buffer from wave action to reduce erosion. They would also enhance the appearance of the area without significantly blocking views out on the North Sound by creating pockets of vegetation and creating habitats for wildlife.”
Mrs. Robinson also briefly outlined the second option, writing: “To address the erosion and provide further facilities for persons using the beach is a proposal to reclaim the part that has eroded and install a bulkhead with a dock. This would provide two usable docks in the area.
“This proposal has received verbal support from the Minister of Environment.”